Should you know:GMO?

In 2012 a bill on the issue of food labeling was defeat in California. Last week Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., introduced a bill to order the Food and Drug Administration to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

The legislation, which would require food manufacturers and stores to tag items made with genetically modified ingredients or grown from genetically engineered seeds, has support from both sides of the aisle, including more than 20 co-sponsors combined in the Senate and House of Representatives.

“Americans have the right to know what is in the food they eat so they can make the best choices for their families,” Senator Boxer said. “This legislation is supported by a broad coalition of consumer groups, businesses, farmers, fishermen and parents who all agree that consumers deserve more – not less – information about the food they buy.”

GMO Advocates like Mark Lynas, a prominent UK environmentalist and author say:

“There have been a great number of studies tracking the effects of GMOs on animals. Overwhelmingly, these studies indicate that GMOs are safe to consumers.
“Easier farming means more food which, in turn, means less expensive food. This is not only beneficial for the average consumer, but it can have global implications: less expensive food makes it easier to feed hungry populations around the world.”

Researches and doctors like Dr Gilles-Eric Séralini oppose GMOs and say:

“Mother Nature does not need to be perfected or improved in any way by genetically modified organisms. She does not need to be bigger, faster, stronger like everything else in our world in order to serve us better.”
“There have been no studies tracking the long-term effects GMOs may have on humans. Researchers fear that the health risks may include: Exposure to allergens, antibiotic resistance, endocrine disruption, reproductive disorders and accelerated aging.”

In January 2000, an international trade agreement for labeling GMOs was established. It required that international food exporters label all genetically modified foods in order to allow a country to decide if they would receive the food or reject it. More than 130 countries, including the US, signed the agreement. However, it's up to the individual country to decide whether or not to label products made with GMOs after they are imported from abroad.

Countries like Australia, Japan and France all require that foods made with GMOs be labeled. However, the FDA does not require the labeling of GMOs. Without proper labels, however, it is difficult for consumers to make educated choices about the foods they are purchasing. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the American Medical Association support voluntary labels, while recognizing that “there currently is no evidence that there are material differences or safety concerns in available bioengineered foods.” Read this statement provided by the FDA.

Genetic modification may upset Senator Boxer’s view of the world.It might even upset your view of the world, but it’s here to stay. Both sides of the argument are pasitonate about the GMO issue. In my personal opinion we should stand by the international trade agreement for labeling GMO products and let the consumer decide.